To mark BC Emergency Preparedness Week (May 2-8), St. John Ambulance has offered three steps residents can take to be prepared for a natural disaster.
B.C. residents face a variety of risks, whether it’s earthquakes, wildfires, storms and floods. However, only 46 per cent of residents have an emergency kit and 39 per cent have prepared a plan, according to a 2019 survey by Research Co.
“If someone wants to become better prepared for emergencies, we always recommend these three steps: make a plan, purchase or build an emergency preparedness kit, and get first aid trained,” said St. John Ambulance learning and development officer Christopher Chan. “With those three steps in place, you will gain an increased confidence to be able to protect yourself as well as your loved ones in the event of an emergency that may keep you trapped in your home or force you to evacuate.”
A emergency preparedness plan should include details on how to deal with potential hazards inside and outside of the home, including safe exits, an outdoor meeting place, out-of-town emergency contact information, pet care and more.
An emergency kit should have supplies that can support a family for 72 hours in case of an emergency. Items considering including are food, water, first aid kit, wind-up or battery powered flashlight, a radio and more.
“It’s also important to personalize the kit with items like prescription medications, solar cellphone charge, family documents, change of clothing, pet supplies, cash, and more. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s also important to keep masks and hand sanitizer in mind,” the release said.
Finally, first aid training is “essential for everyone.”
“With first aid training, you will gain the knowledge to properly use the tools in an emergency kit and feel more confident to take action in the event that someone is injured during an emergency, or during everyday life,” the release said. “First aid training classes teaches the crucial skills of CPR and AED use and how to treat injuries such as burns, sprains, cuts, head trauma, and severe bleeding.”